Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
21 Mar

Moms Need Steak and Yet Another Fasting Study

First on the docket for this round of Monday Musings: steak. Steak is an objectively good thing. It can heal wounds and improve your squat. There’s really no conceivable reason not to eat steak, and plenty of reasons to cram it down one’s gullet on a regular basis. O sacred slab, thou finest fuel for metabolic processes. Gift of cud and hoof… Okay, let me get to the point, before I get off track and turn this post into a terrible 2,000 word ode to steak.

Steak is a rich source of B-vitamins, especially B-12 (fish and dairy are also good for it), which is crucial for infant neurological development. A new study suggests prenatal B-12 levels might even influence a baby’s propensity to cry. Researchers tested the B-12 levels of 3,000 pregnant women three months into their pregnancy; after their children were born, they measured the infants’ crying patterns. Kids born to mothers with the lowest B-12 levels were more likely to cry louder and longer – up to eight times more likely than kids born to mothers with the highest levels. I don’t blame the kids. I become a weepy mess if, say, my ribeye isn’t thawed in time for dinner. Hmm, so what’s the solution? Eat some steak… right?

Wrong. The resident nutritionist warns that meat “comes with saturated fats which can hinder the body’s use of essential fats needed for the baby’s brain and nervous system development.” I guess nothing’s safe, eh? (That’s sarcasm, in case it isn’t clear.)

Next up, there’s a new review study out that’s pretty favorable to intermittent fasting. Only here they call it “intermittent calorie restriction,” which involves 24 hours of ad libitum food intake alternated with 24 hours of “complete or partial” calorie restriction, and they compare it to regular calorie restriction. Both methods seem to work well for weight loss, but intermittent fasting – er, sorry, I meant intermittent calorie restriction – preserves more lean mass, which is the stuff we want to preserve, especially as we lose weight. Otherwise you’re on your way to being skinny fat. You see that a lot on folks who consciously and painfully restrict calories, whereas the people I know who IF tend to run leaner and denser. Weight is such a vague figure when it comes to human health, anyway. I prefer to know how much three dimensional space my body’s mass is occupying, or how much water it’s displacing. The denser you get, the less space you occupy. You can have a tight, muscular body and weigh as much as or more than the classically overweight guy.

So, to sum up, this is yet another review suggesting that IF is the best way to lose fat mass and preserve lean mass. They didn’t get into which mode of calorie restriction was easier and more sustainable, but I’d wager that intermittent calorie restriction takes that title as well. It really does seem to be racking up the wins as of late, yeah?

That’s it for today. Feel free to chime in with tales of steak and IF success!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Ok, thanks! However I’m not trying to lose weight… so does this mean I don’t really need to worry about the IF thing?

    Jenni wrote on March 22nd, 2011
  2. Like the info on B-12 for Mama’s!! I hope that pregnancies to come that my gestational diabetes either doesn’t return or is just so well manage with lots and lots of STEAK!! tee hee!

    The Real Food Mama wrote on March 22nd, 2011
    • I had three gestational diabetic pregnancies and never returned to “normal” blood sugar after the third, so do take care of yourself. That said, primal eating is a great way to minimize any of those problems and it’s how I handled the pregnancies and also how I keep my blood sugar down now. Oh, and my babies have all been lovely and peaceful, for what it’s worth. (Can’t say if it’s eating meat or getting to nurse in bed with momma that does the trick, but we don’t have cranky babies around here.)

      Dawn wrote on March 23rd, 2011
  3. What a timely post Mark! I have been eating a lot of beef lately (tonight’s dinner was about 12 oz. of filet mignon, spinach sauteed in pastured butter, and a couple of glasses or red wine), and it’s nice to hear that steak is Sisson-approved.

    I have noticed that 12 oz of steak is more satisfying than 2 pounds of cheese pizza (possibly from Costco…), and I don’t raid the fridge later in the night.

    I say “eat to satisfy”, and steak fits the bill to a T (bone).


    Rob wrote on March 22nd, 2011
  4. Not only diet but also Study and Research now a day proved that regular exercise on daily basis makes a person healthier and increase circulation of blood in the body reduces the causes of heart attack. Exercise boosts your body’s immune system and make you more fresh and healthier.

    Ross Adkin wrote on March 22nd, 2011
  5. I’m definitely interested in trying IF, but I’m concerned that it might negatively affect my workouts on fasting days. Is there anything to this? If so, how do you reconcile?

    Liver wrote on March 23rd, 2011
    • Fasting and low carb/primal is the best way to preserve muscle. It also enhances growth hormone production. You must begin fasting slowly by eating progressively later day by day until you can go for 20 or more hours without solid food.

      mary titus wrote on March 23rd, 2011
  6. Advice for pregnant women really varies by country. I’m American, but I live in Slovenia, which is also where I had my second and third babies. When I showed up for my first prenatal appointment with the second, the nurse was running down her list of counseling points. When she got to food, she said, “And be sure to eat lots of horse meat because you need the extra iron!” I nearly fell off my chair because I was sure I’d misunderstood her (I didn’t speak the language well and didn’t know that horse was a common food here.) Well, I did eat horse meat during that pregnancy, and still do — a well-prepared horse steak is a fine meal indeed.

    We even have a local fast-food chain called “Hot Horse” with, you guessed it, all horse burgers and horse dogs. And the greatest thing about them is you they even list all the dishes as alternate orders without the bun right on the menu. :)

    Dawn wrote on March 23rd, 2011
    • OMG, I am moving to Slovenia!!!

      mary titus wrote on March 23rd, 2011
      • :) It’s a great place to live “primal” in any case, horse steaks aside. There’s plenty of outdoor recreation available, easily accessible from any location (including the capital city): hiking, skiing, rock climbing, swimming (lakes, the Adriatic, numerous natural springs), river rafting, hang gliding, etc. I live only a 10-minute bike ride from downtown and have a huge, wooded park right out my back door (hiking trails, wild blueberries and chestnuts, cuckoos and frog ponds, etc.).

        Dawn wrote on March 24th, 2011
  7. “There’s really no conceivable reason not to eat steak”

    You mean there’s really no conceivable reason not to eat organic, grass-fed steak, assuming price is not a factor and you’re not a sucker for animals >.>

    Rachel wrote on March 24th, 2011
  8. It is really a great advice for the pregnant women. They some time have a low iron level and need to take it as a drip (artificially).

    Michael Mitschele wrote on May 22nd, 2012
  9. This really hits home! My first two kids were such easy-going, laid-back babies, but my third… whoa Nelly! He was such a difficult baby, crying 8+ hours per day for the first 6 months and demanded to be in arms at all times. Perhaps he simply had a different from my other two, but the one major difference is I had become a very strict vegetarian a couple of years before he was conceived, and remained so throughout my pregnancy, until he was about a year old. I’ve always wondered if that was a factor in his colic. Ironically, he’s a born paleo kid; I don’t expect my kids to eat as I do, by my little one loves meat and veggies and completely rejects pasta, rice, and bread.

    thebeancounter wrote on July 23rd, 2014

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